The Perks of Being a Trapezium

So I realize that I have talked a lot about the negative sides of being a trapezium. I tend to do that a lot, it is much easier to focus on the negative things than it is to focus on the positive. I think that is something most people deal with. I will try to keep the Sarcastasaur (next post will be on the Sarcastasaur) away for this post, but forgive me if I let him take over for a little bit.

I am very good at spotting and recognizing patterns of any kind. I have an over developed sense of observation, if that counts as a sense. This leads to me noticing every detail of everything around me pretty much every second of every day. Over the years, I have developed the ability of turning it on and off sometimes. But as a kid, I would get very upset over small things that no one else would notice like the humming of a fridge or the ticking of a clock. Small little things like that can be more frustrating than bigger things.

I can very accurately assemble them into a bigger picture. This also means that when I am learning something new I always worry about those small little details and miss out on the bigger picture. This makes a lot of things very difficult for me to learn because most people don’t ever teach the small details; they give you a big picture description and expect that you can fill in the small details. But as someone who almost exclusively works the other way around, that kind of teaching never works for me. I remember when I was learning how to drive, no one ever mentioned what to do with your left foot, so I naturally put it on the brake pedal. It seemed to me that two pedals, and two feet it seemed pretty obvious. But then when I hit both pedals at the same time, it was suddenly a bad thing. I was overly concerned with that small little detail because for me to assimilate driving as a skill, I have to know what to do with every little detail like that.

The small details are really helpful for things like card games. I am extremely good at card games. I used to play poker and have a lot of fun. Not because I liked poker, poker is an incredibly vapid game, it takes about as much intellect as Candy Land to play. I liked playing poker because you can mess with people, and that is great fun. I am very good at controlling my behavior when I want to (or need to) and so I can turn on and off my ticks or tells, which is something most people can’t do. I also am excellent at spotting other people’s tells. I used to wait, figure out what they would do and then mimic that back to them. They would always start to freak out when they finally noticed, and inevitably get mad at me. They usually accused me of cheating, because I guess that being really good at observations equates to cheating.

I moved on to better games like spades, which is a fantastic game, lots of strategy and card counting. I played spades so much with my friends that we all learned how to count the cards well enough to call the last 5 or 6 rounds by identifying who had which cards. Spades is perfect for people like me who notice and observe everything, people who like to run up the probability of every possible outcome, and people who like to run different scenarios. I can completely and totally focus on a game of spades and tune out every other distraction in the world, something that doesn’t happen very often.

Anyways, we got bored with spades and moved on to bridge. Bridge is a very old card game, that virtually no one plays anymore. I think the game is too mentally stressing for people these days, it requires too much thinking for anyone to do. But that is precisely why I love playing bridge. It takes all of the card counting and probability modeling that I loved from spades and adds in new elements. I will save talking about card games for a separate post, I am trying to focus on the positive side here.

Being a trapezium and thinking in the different ways that I do is what allows me to excel at card games so much. I have the ability to calculate the odds of a player having a specific card at any point in the game, so with every play I make I can say that there is a 33% chance that they will play this card, so I need to play this card.

Observing everything so well also helps a lot with things like bird watching. For most birders, they look at a bird and try to identify it by sight. I look at a bird and I think of its shape, silhouette, beak, feathers, eyes, the current season, current weather, current time of day, the location, the bird’s position, the bird’s behavior. I use all of those patterns to determine the type of bird. Those are the methods that they teach in birding classes, but I do them all instinctually. To me, that method seems to be the only rational way to determine something unknown. You have to have data and reasons to back up your claim.

This kind of thought process might help explain why there are so many people like me in science fields. It makes sense to us, that sort of clear cut and defined thinking. I get really uncomfortable when I can’t use those methods to answer questions. I get incredibly nervous on any topic or area where I don’t have reliable data and previous info to back up what I do. I base pretty much everything that I ever do on past experiences. This is why a lot of us don’t like new things at first. It is very scary to go into something totally new. There are always subtle rules of how to act and react, and those are often very different from place to place, so applying the rules we already know to new things is tricky and almost never works. The interactions you can use while playing an online game are very different than the interactions you can use face to face, even if it is with the same people.

There are many other positives as well, but I am struggling to write about them now so I’ll save them for later. Writing this blog is incredulously difficult because I have a very limited understanding of the things that go on inside my head, and an even more limited capacity to express them in a way that other people can understand.